We love being outside. Both Andrew and Amelia enjoy being outside to run around (or in Amelia’s case: carried around), explore nature, and just be out and about.  Steve and I also love being outside.  When we travel, the first thing we do is look for National Parks or outdoor areas or activities nearby.

We also happen to love winter.  I love the cold weather, bundling up, being active to stay warm, the crunch of snow under boots, the crisp, fresh smell in the air. Everything. It only makes sense that winter is one of my favorite times of year for outdoor activities. But I don’t think that’s the case with many people as it can be seen as a time to bunker down inside and wait until spring.   And that’s a shame!

So, I wanted to put together a list of the best outdoor activities for winter to give you some new ideas or possibly entice you to head outside this winter.

Also, look at my list of best places to visit in Japan in Winter.

Bundle Up

But before we get started, I have a little advice.  I think the main reason people hate doing things outside in winter is they are unprepared for the cold or the wet.  Obviously, to enjoy yourself you don’t want to be frozen or with wet shoes or clothes. You can’t just go out in jeans and sneakers and a sweater.  You need to wear layers and possibly several.  Thermal leggings under pants help keep out the chill. 

A hat and gloves are… pretty obvious but you can’t just get any cute pair off the shelf.  They need to be thick and insulated enough that your fingers aren’t going to be falling off in five seconds.  Arguably the most important item are the shoes you wear.  I hate cold feet.  I mean, who doesn’t.  But if my toes are cold I can’t enjoy myself.  So getting yourself a good pair of boots can make or break your time outside. 

I love the ones I have from The North Face and they have helped me through the winter in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and now Japan.

Outdoor Winter Activities

  • Go Ice Skating
  • Build a winter bonfire
  • Go snowshoeing
  • Winter camping
  • Long winter walks
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Dog-Sled racing
  • Have a snowball fight
  • Read a book outside on your porch/balcony
  • Go Ice fishing
  • Have a winter picnic
  • Explore Your city on foot
  • Have a winter photo expedition
  • Go skiing/snowboarding
  • Go sledding
  • Find your Own Christmas tree/ or just walk through the woods
  • Soak in Hot Springs or Hot tubs
  • Make a snowman
  • Make an igloo

This isn’t an exhaustive list.  But it should give you a good idea of some things you can do to get outside! Whatever you choose, just be prepared with warm clothes and you’ll have an amazing time during my favorite season.

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